[-empyre-] OSW: open source writing in the network

tterranova tterranova at tiscali.it
Wed Jan 11 20:44:06 EST 2012

Dear all

first of all I think best wishes for 2012 are in order for everybody on 
the list.

Secondly I would like to see whether I can start the discussion by 
referring to some issues which I am currently thinking about and which 
might be relevant to a debate on open models of publishing and writings 
and the formation of communities around such efforts.

I have been struck that is by a theme that is emerging in analyses of 
the Internet, and social networks in particular, which are focused on 
the question of subjectivity, such as writings by Jodi Dean, Sherry 
Turkle, Bernard Stiegler, Franco Berardi, Steven Shaviro etc. All these 
authors, in different way, seem to underline the fact that networked 
digital media are not simply technologies of communication, but 
technologies involved in the production of subjectivity. Jodi Dean in 
particular seem to be starting from her experience of writing a blog to 
articulate a damning critique of the whole mechanism of 
writing/reading/commenting text on the Internet, which she sees as 
relying on the mobilization of compulsive drives (little bits of 
pleasure inherent in the accumulation of small bits of 'new' 
information) which ultimately leads to recuperation under the logic of 
communicative capitalism. Sherry Turkle's latest book is also a quite 
damning ethnography of what social and personal media are doing to a new 
generation which is both tethered to their machines and scared of 
intimacy. Franco Berardi has been warning us for over a decade about the 
process of 'cognitive proletarianization' inherent in the speed of new 

I'm not saying that I agree with all these different perspectives, but 
my questions to the list would be: in which ways do open practices of 
publishing, writing and reading interact with the general attention 
economy of networked media, where attention is defined as a 'scarce 
commodity'? How can they be used to counteract some of the 
compulsive/destructive dynamics of Internet readership? What do your 
experiences tell us of the difference between social interaction on 
corporate media platforms and social interaction on alternative, open 
platforms? What is it that in your opinion ultimately defines the 
quality and affective texture of communication on succesful open platforms?

looking forward to the rest of the discussion

tiziana terranova

Il 09/01/12 12.07, Simon Biggs ha scritto:
> Welcome to all empyre subscribers and, especially, this months moderators and discussants, Penny Travlou, Smita Kheria, Tiziana Terranova, Dmytri Kleiner, Adam Hyde, Salvatore Iaconesi, Joss Hands and Marc Garrett. We have the collective responsibility of welcoming in 2012, during the year's first monthly theme. For much of the world 2011 was, at best, a challenging year, and 2012 looks like more of the same. This appears to be a period of socio-economic change as the shifting tectonic plates of geo-political power grind against one another. I've never been keen on futurology or fortune-telling but am confident 2012 will be another year of turbulent events that will have us end up in a different place to where we started.
> In this globalised and highly mediated context, during the month of January, we wish to focus empyre discussion on how writing and publishing are currently evolving in the context of global networks. We wish to engage a debate about open models of writing and publishing. We hope to gain some insight into how changes in notions and practices of authorship, media, form, dissemination, intellectual property and economics affect writing and publishing as well as the formation of the reader/writerships, communities and social engagement that must flow from that activity. Specifically, we wish to look at examples of open publishing, whether they be FLOSS manuals, copyLeft or CopyFarLeft or other publication models, in order to look at new methods for knowledge making and distribution. We also wish to consider how communities of shared-value emerge through such initiatives and how their members are able to identify themselves to one another and others.
> As usual, the month (the next three weeks) will be structured into weekly bite sized chunks, each led by a moderator and involving two discussants. Participants can choose to post to the list at any time but the discussants for each week will have the opportunity to focus the debate for that period. We hope that as many empyre subscribers as possible will feel engaged and contribute to the discussion.
> Our guests are, in the order of the weeks they will participate:
> Tiziana Terranova lectures and researches cultural studies and new media at the Università degli Studi di Napoli 'L'Orientale'. She is the author of Network Culture (Pluto Press, 2004) and has recently co-edited, with Couze Venn, a special issue of Theory, Culture and Society on Michel Foucault's recently published courses. She is currently working on a book about neoliberalism and digital social media.
> Dmytri Kleiner describes himself as a Venture Communist. He creates miscommunication technologies, including deadSwap, Thimbl and R15N and is the author of the Telekommunist Manifesto. He lives in Berlin and his url is http://dmytri.info
> Simon Biggs is an artist, writer and curator. His work focuses on interactive systems, new media and digital poetics (http://www.littlepig.org.uk). He is involved in a number of research projects, including the EU funded project Developing a Network-Based Creative Community: Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (http://www.elmcip.net). He is Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts, directing the MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices, at the University of Edinburgh.
> Adam Hyde lives in Berlin. In 2007 Adam started FLOSS Manuals, a community for  producing free manuals for free software. Through this work he also started Booki (a book production platform) and has been pioneering Book Sprints - a methodology for collaboratively producing books in 5 days or less. Previously, as an artist, he was 1/2 of r a d i o q u a l i a, Simpel and other artistic projects engaging open source and free media.
> Salvatore Iaconesi teaches cross media design at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, at Rome University of Fine Arts and at ISIA Design in Florence. He is the founder of Art is Open Source and of FakePress Publishing, focusing on the human beings' mutations through ubiquitous technologies and networks.
> Penny Travlou is a social geographer and ethnographer lecturing in the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh. Her research currently focuses on studying emergent network-based creative communities. She is Co-Investigator on the ELMCIP project.
> Marc Garrett is an activist, artist, writer and co-director/founder (with artist Ruth Catlow) of internet arts collective http://www.furtherfield.org (since 96) and the Furtherfield Gallery&  social space in London. Through these platforms various contemporary media arts exhibitions and projects are presented nationally and internationally. Marc also hosts a weekly media arts radio programme on Resonance FM, co-edited the publication "Artists Re: thinking games" and is editing a new publication "Conversations As We Leave The 21st Century". He is currently undertaking a PhD at Birkbeck University, London.
> Joss Hands is a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University where he is Director of the Anglia Research Centre in Digital Culture (ARCDigital). His research interests are at the intersection of technology, new media, politics and critical theory. His focus has been in two main areas. The role of technology in providing an arena for the expression of dissent and the organisation of resistance movements and the role of technology in more formal democratic procedures, specifically the role of the Internet in contributing towards the development of deliberative democracy. He has recently completed a book on digital activism, @ is for Activism: Dissent, Resistance and Rebellion in a Digital Culture, published by Pluto Press.
> Smita Kheria is a lawyer and lecturer in law at the University of Edinburgh. Her focus of interest is intellectual property law and issues around authorship, especially concerning artists' practices with new media. Smita is an associate of SCRIPT: the AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology and is Supervising editor (Intellectual Property) for SCRIPT-ed, the journal of Law, Technology&  Society.
> best
> Simon
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/ http://www.elmcip.net/ http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
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